Mile Jedinak believes Australia ready for Asian Cup final
Sydney, Jan 30 (IANS): Australia football captain Mile Jedinak believes the pressure will be on his side to prove that they are worthy of lifting their first piece of major international silverware, when they take on South Korea in the final of the AFC Asian Cup here on Saturday.
It is Australia's second consecutive Asian Cup final, after losing to Japan in 2011. However, Jedinak Friday said on home soil, there is a lot more riding on the result of Saturday night's clash, reports Xinhua.
However, despite revealing the pressure that his team will face, the Australian and English club Crystal Palace skipper is adamant the host nation will be up for the challenge.
"You know that it's a final and there's silverware at stake," Jedinak told The ABC.
"The pressure goes up. I think everything's going to go up another notch with them and us.
"I don't think it's about unlocking one thing, but we're going to have to be at our game, there's no doubt about it. It's going to have to be from the start and for the full 90 minutes."
"You give those guys an opportunity, they're too good of a team and have too many good individuals to let them off the hook. I'm sure that when it comes around, we'll be ready," he said.
Successive 2-0 victories over China and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the quarter and semifinals respectively have taken Australia to the final.
But, despite a relatively routine journey to the showpiece event, Jedinak said he still hasn't envisaged lifting the trophy.
"I'd be ecstatic, but I'm trying not to look that far ahead," Jedinak continued.
"What would (winning the title) mean? Wow. It would mean everything. To bring home some silverware would be awesome and amazing for what would be a perfect tournament for this country."
Jedinak, who spent three years at domestic side Central Coast, believes that the creation of the A-League 10 years ago has seen football in Australia grow further than many could believe possible.
Now, he hopes an Asian Cup victory will be the icing on the cake of Australia's transformation from minnows to continental heavyweights.
"I think progressing from the A-League and what that's done for football in this country, which speaks wonders for the game, just to see such a major tournament in your own backyard, it is a once in a lifetime experience for some," Jedinak said.